Leading winemakers from across France are visiting Constance Hotels to host tastings and talk to our sommeliers about their wine.
In recent weeks winemakers from vineyards in the Southern Rhône valley, the Loire valley and Sancerre have visited Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage.
The sommeliers of Belle Mare Plage were thrilled to welcome Marc Perrin of Chèóteau Beaucastel in the Rhône valley, famous for its Chèóteauneuf du Pape wines.
With a total of 250 acres given over to vines, Beaucastel’s vineyards include all 13 grape varieties traditionally blended for a red Chèóteauneuf du Pape. Its special Vielles Vignes cuvée of Beaucastel’s white Chèóteauneuf du Pape is a varietal Roussanne wine, extremely rare in Chèóteauneuf du Pape.
Beaucastel wines tasted included:
- Côtes de Provence Rosé Miraval, 2013
- Chèóteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, 2012
- Chèóteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, 2011
- Chèóteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, 2006
- Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, 2011
Domaine des Roches Neuves
Despite a rich tradition of winemaking going back five generations, Germain broke with tradition in 2000 when he became one of the first winemakers in France to be certified biodynamic, since which time he has guided other winemakers on biodynamic methods.
Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc are the most favoured grapes in the middle stretch of the Loire where Domaine des Roches Neuves is located, although Germain also grows some Chenin Blanc.
- Domaine des Roches Neuves wines tasted included:
- Saumur Champigny, Bulles de Roches, 2013
- Saumur Champigny la Marginale, 2011
- Saumur Champigny, Terres Chaudes, 2012
- Saumur Champigny, Domaine des Roches Neuves, 2013
Domaine Alphonse Mellot
The rich history of winemaking in France was brought alive for the sommeliers at Le Prince Maurice by the visit of Alphonse Mellot whose family have been making wine in Sancerre since the 16th century.
The wines of Domaine Alphonse Mellot are produced from grapes grown on the upper Sancerre vineyard, the most famous of which is the Domaine La Moussiere, the high quality of which has led to it being officially classified as a unique category amongst Sancerre wines.
Domaine Alphonse Mellot wines tasted included:
- Sancerre Génération dix-neuf, white, 2012
- Sancerre La Moussière, red, 2010
- Sancerre La Moussière, white, 2012
- Sancerre Les Romains, white, 2012
- Sancerre En Grands Champs, red, 2010
- Sancerre La Demoiselle, white, 2012
Belle Mare Plage welcomes New World winemaker
Constance sommeliers look beyond the traditional wines of the old world to the new exciting winemakers of the new world with regular visits from winemakers from New Zealand and South Africa.
Belle Mare Plage recently welcomed David Sadie of David Wines, one of the premier winemakers of the exciting Swartland region of South Africa.
David gained his experience working in vineyards around the world including South Pacific Cellars (New Zealand), Chateau Quinault (France) and Yves Quilleron (France) where he gained his appreciation of Mediterranean grape varieties.
He describes his wine philosophy as taking a natural approach, using both organic and old bush vines untouched by commercial yeasts, enzymes and high sulphur levels. He boasts that, to date, they have only used old oak barrels rather than new.
David wines tasted included:
- Aristargos 2013
- Swartland Chenin blanc 2013
- Genache noir 2013
- Elpidios 2012 Syrah/Carignan/Grenache/Cinsaut blend
Find out more about the winemakers mentioned here on their websites: